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2023 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft 4.0 – Drafting from the #4 Slot

By next week’s mock draft, all 32 NFL teams will be participating in training camp. So, this mock draft is our last look at player values before camp videos, preseason games, and everything in between starts to impact their 2023 Average Draft Position. Identifying which players may significantly fall or rise will help us when our real drafts roll around.

Every Monday, I will continue completing a fantasy football mock draft on what I like to call “Mock Draft Monday.” This series is a favorite of mine and one of the articles I look forward to the most during fantasy football draft season. I encourage you to review these mock drafts and complete some of your own!

Each week, I will complete a mock draft selecting players from a different draft spot with an analysis as to why I picked each player where and when I did. As I break down the results of each mock draft, I guarantee my reasoning for every pick will help guide your own decision-making process when it comes time to select your teams for the upcoming fantasy football season. So, follow along all summer long!

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Picking Fourth Overall in the Fourth Mock Draft

The following mock draft was completed, simulating my strategy and results for a 10-team, 1 quarterback, Points Per Reception league. The hypothetical roster consists of 3 wide receivers, 2 running backs, 1 tight end, and 1 RB/WR/TE Flex position.  I drafted from the fourth overall pick in this mock draft and will make selections from different draft positions each week. For this mock draft, I will break down just the first 10 of the total 16 rounds as many Average Draft Positions, particularly for the later rounds, are bound to change as NFL training camps ramp up. As always, I spend my final two picks on a Defense/Special Teams and Kicker so they won’t be included as we focus on individual player analysis.


1.01-         Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)

1.02-        Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)

1.03-        Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.04-      Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

1.05-        Travis Kelce (KC TE)

1.06-        Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

1.07-        Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.08-        Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

1.09-        Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

1.10-         Bijan Robinson (ATL RB)

MY PICK: Ja’Marr Chase

This is the first mock draft of the four I’ve done so far in which I select a wide receiver with my first pick. I can make the argument for plenty of players to come off of the board in the first round. Ja’Marr Chase is simply one of the safest. He remains Joe Burrow’s top target in an efficiently high-scoring offense that emphasizes the passing game. Chase is one of a handful of wide receivers who can legitimately push for 180+ targets this season. That’s one significant box to check in order to compete to finish as the top player at his position.


2.01 –      Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.02-      Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

2.03-      Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

2.04-      Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

2.05-      A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

2.06-      Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)

2.07-     Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

2.08-      Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.09-      Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

2.10-      Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

MY PICK: Tony Pollard

Drafting Pollard with my second pick makes sense as he’s the RB9 off of the board in this mock draft and I have him ranked inside my top seven for this season. As the Dallas Cowboys prepare for training camp this week, Pollard’s competition for touches remains scarce. After battling Ezekiel Elliott for opportunities last year, the likes of Malik Davis, Ronald Jones, and rookie Deuce Vaughn this season don’t compare. There’s still a good chance Dallas adds another player into the mix, but Pollard should still lead the team in touches at the position by a large margin.

It’s worth noting that Patrick Mahomes at 2.09 in this mock draft is the highest I’ve seen a quarterback drafted thus far. In a 1QB league, that feels high considering the players at other positions still on the board. However, I don’t want to wait too long to draft a quarterback this year, so I respect the selection. More on that later.


3.01-      Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

3.02-     Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

3.03-     Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

3.04-   Chris Olave (NO WR)

3.05-     Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

3.06-     Najee Harris (PIT RB)

3.07-     Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

3.08-     Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.09-     T.J. Hockenson (MIN TE)

3.10-      Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

MY PICK: Chris Olave

The 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Garrett Wilson, is a fantastic value at the top of the third round. Let’s talk about the value of my mock draft pick, Chris Olave, who was teammates with Wilson at Ohio State University.

Despite playing two fewer games than Wilson, with 28 fewer targets, Olave still managed just 61 fewer yards on 11 fewer receptions. Olave led the New Orleans Saints in targets, as well, and should do so again in 2023. Additionally, Olave’s 13.1 points per game ranked higher than Garrett Wilson’s 12.4. Just 12.1% of Olave’s 2022 PPR fantasy points were from scoring touchdowns. He and Wilson both scored four. Given his strong 24.1% target share in his first season, Olave should see positive touchdown regression.

The biggest reason is his quarterback upgrade. Derek Carr is more reliable than Andy Dalton. Although he himself does not post big fantasy numbers, Carr is no stranger to supporting big seasons from his pass catchers. In fact, Davante Adams scored the second-most touchdowns in a single season of his career last year with the Las Vegas Raiders on his way to a WR3 finish in fantasy football. I love Olave’s upside and believe he’s closer than most think to the value of a player like Garrett Wilson.


4.01-       DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

4.02-      Travis Etienne (JAX RB)

4.03-      D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

4.04-      Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

4.05-      George Kittle (SF TE)

4.06-      Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

4.07-     Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

4.08-      Calvin Ridley (JAX WR)

4.09-      Jahmyr Gibbs (DET RB)

4.10-       Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

MY PICK: Keenan Allen

There are just a few players left on the mock draft board here that are the presumed top option in their team’s passing game. Despite turning 31 in April and missing 10 games over the last three seasons, I’m still in on Keenan Allen. The Los Angeles Chargers hiring of Kellen Moore as their offensive coordinator only affirms my confidence in Allen this fantasy football season. Moore likes to run a system that heavily targets the WR1. That’s Keenan Allen.

Since Justin Herbert has taken over as the starter in Los Angeles, Allen is averaging 9.82 targets per game. Yes, there are a lot of mouths to feed on the Chargers’ offense, but I don’t expect Allen’s target share to change much. Allen is one of the best route runners in the league. He’s also ranked 13th, 7th, and 25th (10 games played) in red zone targets across the league over the last three seasons. Having Justin Herbert at full strength, after playing through injuries of his own last season, will be key to both of their success.


5.01-       Kenneth Walker III (SEA RB)

5.02-      Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

5.03-      Aaron Jones (GB RB)

5.04-     Miles Sanders (CAR RB)

5.05-      Cam Akers (LAR RB)

5.06-      Michael Pittman (IND WR)

5.07-      Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.08-      Dameon Pierce (HOU RB)

5.09-      D.J. Moore (CHI WR)

5.10-       DeAndre Hopkins (TEN WR)

MY PICK: Miles Sanders

After selecting Miles Sanders in the sixth round last week, I’m taking him a full round earlier in this mock draft. After this pick, just five running backs come off of the board before the eighth round. It’s clear that the market seemingly dries up quickly here so I’m glad to lock him in as this team’s RB2.

As I said last week, Sanders’ big contract with the Carolina Panthers and lack of competition for touches leads me to believe he is set up for success this season. He can handle a bell cow workload. I expect him to with perhaps a career-best receiving stat line.


6.01-       J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

6.02-      Chris Godwin (TB WR)

6.03-      Darren Waller (NYG TE)

6.04-      Christian Watson (GB WR)

6.05-      George Pickens (PIT WR)

6.06-      Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)

6.07-     Drake London (ATL WR)

6.08-      Mike Williams (LAC WR)

6.09-      Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

6.10-       Christian Kirk (JAX WR)

MY PICK: Drake London

Drake London falls down the sixth round and I’m still scratching my head as to why. He is likely the Atlanta Falcons’ top pass catcher this season. Now, that doesn’t mean the Falcons’ passing attack is going to be wildly successful, but I do think they pass often with expectations of playing from behind frequently in 2023.

I’m starting to get the itch to draft a quarterback. One of the teams between my sixth and seventh-round picks has already drafted Patrick Mahomes. Therefore, I decide to play the odds that perhaps just one of the other two teams selects a quarterback before I’m back on the clock. Rather than decide between Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow, I lock up my flex position with London and let fate decide.


7.01-       Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

7.02-      Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

7.03-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

7.04-     Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

7.05-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

7.06-      Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

7.07-      Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)

7.08-      Rachaad White (TB RB)

7.09-      Diontae Johnson (PIT WR)

7.10-       Mike Evans (TB WR)

MY PICK: Joe Burrow

As fate would have it, Lamar Jackson is taken and I’m afforded the opportunity to stack Joe Burrow with my first pick, Ja’Marr Chase. Stacking players isn’t something I try to force, but always keep in mind. For those unfamiliar, a player stack is pairing a running back, wide receiver, or tight end with the quarterback on their offense. That way, when the two connect at any point during a game, you benefit from both players.

Stacking Burrow and Chase is not for everyone as Ja’Marr Chase is likely gone in the first round before all managers have a chance to select him. So, rather than waste the opportunity, I complete the stack here. For a stack as valuable as this, I’m open to the idea of reaching a round earlier for the quarterback, especially at the caliber of Joe Burrow. However, that’s not to say you should be drafting Kirk Cousins as a top-10 quarterback just to stack him with Justin Jefferson.


8.01-       Kadarius Toney (KC WR)

8.02-      Justin Fields (CHI QB)

8.03-      Brandin Cooks (DAL WR)

8.04-      Dalvin Cook (Free Agent RB)

8.05-      Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

8.06-      Trevor Lawrence (JAX QB)

8.07-     James Conner (ARI RB)

8.08-      Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA WR)

8.09-      D’Andre Swift (PHI RB)

8.10-      Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

MY PICK: James Conner

James Conner is once again my RB3 on a mock draft team. For those that play in a 12-team league, he could be your RB2 depending on how you approach your draft. That’s great, too! He is a volume-based RB2 with weekly RB1 upside depending on if he gets into the end zone. Conner, like Pollard and Sanders who I selected before him, has little perceived competition for touches in the Cardinals’ backfield. While the team waits for Kyler Murray to get back under center, Conner should be the focal point of their offense pushing for 20 touches per game.


9.01-       Jordan Addison (MIN WR)

9.02-      Jahan Dotson (WSH WR)

9.03-      Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

9.04-    Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

9.05-      Isiah Pacheco (KC RB)

9.06-      James Cook (BUF RB)

9.07-      David Montgomery (DET RB)

9.08-      Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

9.09-      Michael Thomas (NO WR)

9.10-       Gabe Davis (BUF WR)

My Pick: Javonte Williams

Over the weekend, news broke that Javonte Williams will not start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. He still has a few hurdles to get over to return to full game speed, but this is a huge step forward for him following last year’s Week 4 season-ending knee injury.

The Denver Broncos offense should bounce back with Sean Payton stepping in as their head coach. They have plenty of weapons to do so, but execution will be key. Hiring Joe Lombardi as their offensive coordinator is going to benefit Javonte Williams greatly. Lombardi is the former offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers. Yes, the same Chargers who heavily targeted Austin Ekeler out of the backfield. Prior to that, Lombardi was the quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints under Payton. Yes, the same Saints who heavily targeted Alvin Kamara out of the backfield.

Williams, when ready, has tremendous upside, especially in PPR formats. Depending on how training camp goes, he is likely to start creeping up draft boards. If he remains a ninth round pick, as he is here in this mock draft, then he could be the biggest steal of your draft. We call that a “league winner.”


10.01-     Juju Smith-Schuster (NE WR)

10.02-    Quentin Johnston (LAC WR)

10.03-    Jameson Williams (DET WR)

10.04-    Antonio Gibson (WAS RB)

10.05-    A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

10.06-    Rashaad Penny (PHI RB)

10.07-   Evan Engram (JAX TE)

10.08-    Jamaal Williams (NO RB)

10.09-    Zay Flowers (BAL WR)

10.10-    Elijah Moore (CLE WR)

MY PICK: Evan Engram

Similarly to quarterback, I don’t want to wait too long for a tight end. After four tight ends came off the board in the first four rounds of this mock draft, I’m shocked I held strong until the tenth round to select mine. Darren Waller in the sixth round would’ve been my pick if he didn’t go four spots ahead of me. Instead, I end a two-round tight end drought with Engram here.

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense is loaded with talent. It’s going to be difficult for Engram to repeat his 2022 season, especially with Calvin Ridley joining this lineup. However, the Jags could mess around and rank top five in pass attempts and even scoring as Trevor Lawrence continues to ascend under head coach Doug Pederson. I’m willing to bank on that sort of upside with Engram at this point in the mock draft.


QB – Joe Burrow

RB – Tony Pollard, Miles Sanders

WR – Ja’Marr Chase, Chris Olave, Keenan Allen

TE – Evan Engram

FLEX – Drake London

Bench: James Conner, Javonte Williams, Pat Freiermuth (11.4), Khalil Herbert (12.7), Damien Harris (13.4), Donovan Peoples-Jones (14.7)

Mock Draft 4.0 CONCLUSION

There are a few things that jump out to me in this mock draft. Most notably, the franchise-tagged running backs, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and even my pick, Tony Pollard, all seem to fall ever so slightly this week compared to my prior drafts. There is an increasing amount of tension surrounding these players and their frustration with the lack of financial security for their gameplay. The risk of them holding out could deter fantasy managers from spending high draft capital on them. We should have more clarity before the season starts.

I also found that the top consensus quarterbacks and tight ends went a little higher in this mock draft. That could be directly related to the uneasiness surrounding some of the running back picks. It’s something I didn’t expect, but that’s exactly why we mock draft. Be prepared for anything so nothing surprises you.

Overall, this team just screams “VOLUME!” I feel that my four starting wide receivers will lead their respective teams in targets. Meanwhile, Pollard and Sanders, in a full slate of games, should each hit or even surpass 250 total touches this season. While Engram isn’t the flashiest tight end pick, the volume from the rest of my lineup makes up for it. Stacking Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase is just the cherry on top.

For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

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